Trooper Conklin justified in use of lethal force

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According to an investigation by the Broome County District Attorney’s Office, New York State Trooper Timothy Conklin was justified in his use of lethal force.

DA Steve Cornwell had a news conference today to share evidence from the night 30-year-old Nicholas Philhower was killed by Conklin after opening fire at the officer on Route 17. 

Pictures from the investigation show that 4 shots from Philhower hit Conklin’s patrol car including one that got embedded in the dash just inches from where Conklin was sitting. 

A 911 call that was made by a passerby that night was also shared. 

Caller: Sorry I’m like…um I’m right before 76, so was it 75? 

Dispatcher: Was there an officer down there?

Caller: Yeah, he was getting shot at. By a man with a rifle. Yes.

Dispatcher: By a man with a rifle?

Caller: Yes..”

When asked about a motive for opening fire on the Trooper, Cornwell says Philhower had some mental health issues and was also upset with police over his many encounters with law enforcement over the years. 

He says there was also methamphetamine found in Philhower’s system. 

One of the shots went through the passenger seat where Conklin had been sitting the past couple of weeks as he trained a new officer.

The day of the incident was the first day the trainee was on his own.

Cornwell says it’s alarming to look at everything and realize how close Conklin came to losing his life.

“It’s shocking when you see it knowing it very easily could’ve ended with a trooper that was murdered on the highway for doing his job. So it’s just the reality of what happens, Cornwell says.

Trooper Conklin will be returning to work this week with no restrictions.

Cornwell says it’s standard procedure to investigate anytime an officer has to fire their weapon. 

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